Improved limits on short-wavelength gravitational waves from the cosmic microwave background

Дата и время публикации : 2012-03-19T20:00:05Z

Авторы публикации и институты :
Irene Sendra
Tristan L. Smith

Ссылка на журнал-издание: Ссылка на журнал-издание не найдена
Коментарии к cтатье: 5 pages, 3 figures
Первичная категория: astro-ph.CO

Все категории : astro-ph.CO, hep-ph, hep-th

Краткий обзор статьи: The cosmic microwave background (CMB) is affected by the total radiation density around the time of decoupling. At that epoch, neutrinos comprised a significant fraction of the radiative energy, but there could also be a contribution from primordial gravitational waves with frequencies greater than ~ 10^-15 Hz. If this cosmological gravitational wave background (CGWB) were produced under adiabatic initial conditions, its effects on the CMB and matter power spectrum would mimic massless non-interacting neutrinos. However, with homogenous initial conditions, as one might expect from certain models of inflation, pre big-bang models, phase transitions and other scenarios, the effect on the CMB would be distinct. We present updated observational bounds for both initial conditions using the latest CMB data at small scales from the South Pole Telescope (SPT) in combination with Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP), current measurements of the baryon acoustic oscillations, and the Hubble parameter. With the inclusion of the data from SPT the adiabatic bound on the CGWB density is improved by a factor of 1.7 to 10^6 Omega_gw < 8.7 at the 95% confidence level (C.L.), with weak evidence in favor of an additional radiation component consistent with previous analyses. The constraint can be converted into an upper limit on the tension of horizon-sized cosmic strings that could generate this gravitational wave component, with Gmu < 2 10^-7 at 95% C.L., for string tension Gmu. The homogeneous bound improves by a factor of 3.5 to 10^6 Omega_gw < 1.0 at 95% C.L., with no evidence for such a component from current data.

Category: Physics